Student retreats and focus days help students deepen their relationships with God, begin to grasp their personal spirituality, and gain lifelong friendships. St. Patrick-St. Vincent High School provides one-day and overnight retreats for every grade level. Members of the Campus Ministry Core Team plan and lead all retreats in conjunction with alumni, faculty members, our Chaplain, and Campus Ministers.

Forms

Focus Days

Freshman Focus Day

Freshman Focus Days are five one-day retreats of community building activities that gives freshmen the opportunity to get to know one another within their religion classes as school begins and establish their identity as a class. They are held in August at the St. Catherine of Siena Parish Life Center in Vallejo. The day begins and ends with prayer. Parents prepare lunch and snacks.

Sophomore Focus Day

Sophomore Focus Days are five one-day retreats that structure discussion and simulation activities around the theme “Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You.” The exercises build on religion classes during the year in which students identify the behaviors that they desire from others and those behaviors that cause tension and division among class members. The result is that students have a better appreciation for others, focusing upon the things they have in common rather than on what separates them. They learn to discard judgmental thoughts as soon as they enter their minds.

Sophomore Focus Days are held in January at the St. Catherine of Siena Parish Life Center in Vallejo. Prayer is woven throughout the day’s activities.

Junior Immersion Day

Each Junior Religion class spends a day in January or February among the people of San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood under the guidance of staff at St. Anthony Foundation. Some students will serve in St. Anthony Dining Room or in local adult day care facilities, others will deliver meals to the homebound in single room occupancy hotels (SROs) with staff of the Salvation Army, and still others will organize donations for St. Anthony’s free Clothing Program. Students receive an overview of the issues facing very low-income people, especially those who live in the Tenderloin, and hear a presentation from one of the clients in St. Anthony’s addiction rehabilitation program. Class time is utilized to prepare and debrief students before and after the day of service learning. Five parent volunteers are needed for each of the five immersion trips to the Tenderloin.

Senior Focus Day

Senior Focus Day is geared toward having fun with classmates toward the end of the last year of high school, recalling memories, renewing bonds, and preparing to make the most of the days left of high school. We encourage seniors not to rush through these last days together and to reconcile with those from whom they have grown distant. The day begins and ends with prayer. Senior Focus Day occurs in April each year at Dan Foley Cultural Center in Vallejo. Students are responsible for their own transportation to Dan Foley Cultural Center in Vallejo.

Retreats

Alpha Retreat

The Alpha Retreat is the first retreat in a series of three that students may attend at SPSV. It focuses on the personal history of each student, the choices made each day that lead us to or away from God and others, and God’s desire for [them]. Students share experiences and beliefs, participate in the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, and engage in many community building activities. Student retreat leaders facilitate the retreat in tandem with adult leaders. Student-led prayer is woven through the days occur throughout the retreat. The retreat is two days and one night and is open to all students from freshman through senior years.

Christos Retreat

The Christos Retreat is the second in our series of three retreats. It focuses on the student’s maturing relationship with Christ. Though there are still plenty of ice breakers and community builders, there is much more individual reflection time and focus on scripture in this second retreat. There are opportunities for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. Student leaders plan and facilitate all the activities and prayers, and participants help plan the prayer services. Adult leaders are present in small groups to aid the student leaders when called upon. The retreat is three days and two nights and is open to any student who has gone on an Alpha Retreat in a previous year.

Kairos Retreat

The Kairos Retreat is a three-day, two-night retreat program used in high schools and colleges all over the United States. It is the third in our series of retreats and is open to seniors. Based on Ignatian Spirituality, the aim of the Kairos Retreat is to enable students to see and reflect on God’s role in all the aspects of their lives. There are opportunities for Reconciliation and the Eucharist. The Kairos is led by alumni or student leaders who have already participated in previous Kairos Retreats and faculty.